Apparently, people will pay for anything as long as it’s packaged well – even a can full of nothing. French student Antoine Deblay figured this out over the summer, and is making huge profits from the idea. ‘Air de Montcuq’ costs 5.5 euros (that’s about $7.5), plus shipping. It is basically just a tin can that Deblay fills with air from his hometown – Montcuq.
22-year-old Deblay put up a proposal on French crowdfunding site kisskissbankbank.com. He didn’t really expect anything to happen, but the idea ended up raising over $1,000. The amount was perfect for him to set up a website and pay for packaging. When the French press got wind of the idea, they reported it extensively and helped the orders to roll in. Deblay started receiving more orders than he anticipated. He was shocked to report 1,000 orders in just three weeks. “Of course I knew it was going to sell, but not so much in so little time,” he said.
I think the popularity of Air de Montcuq has more to do with its marketing plan than the actual product. On the website, Deblay chooses to be funny with product descriptions. A blurb reads: “Air de Montcuq is 100 percent organic, it immerses you in the depths of the city to refresh your ideas. Ideal when you are in need of creative inspiration.” There’s a warning as well: “Attention, irreplaceable content, consumable once. Do not leave it open.”
Deblay assures his customers that he respects the air. “In order not to empty Montcuq’s air, we limit our harvest to 10 liters of air a week.” However, with Air de Montcuq, there are no jokes about air quality. “A slightly sunny and clear weather provides the purest Montcuq air. The boxes are filled outside the old town, with a charging time of 3:30 minimum,” the website mentions.
Deblay points out another reason why Air de Montcuq might be catching the fancy of thousands. It seems that in France, Montcuq is often mispronounced as ‘moncul’, which means ‘my ass’. So Air de Montcuq would translate to ‘the wind of my ass’. Now that’s really gross.
Gross or not, people seem to be in love with the can of country air. Unfortunately, it’s only a summer project for Deblay, so he won’t be selling for too long. The website contains the warning: “We reached the maximum quantity of air sampling.” You need to hurry if you want to get yourself a can. But don’t be disappointed if you open it and it smells like nothing.
via Business Insider